The late, great Douglas Adams was the creator of all the various manifestations of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which started life as a BBC Radio 4 series. Since its first airing in March 1978 it has been transformed into a series of best-selling novels, a TV series, a record album, a computer game and several stage adaptations.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s phenomenal success sent the book straight to Number One in the UK Bestseller List and in 1984 Douglas Adams became the youngest author to be awarded a Golden Pan. He won a further two (a rare feat), and was nominated – though not selected – for the first Best of Young British Novelists awards.

He followed this success with four more books in the trilogy, an audacious feat only his imagination could encompass. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980); Life, The Universe and Everything (1982); So Long and Thanks for all the Fish (1984); and Mostly Harmless (1992), selling over 15 million books in the UK, the US, Australia and in many other languages.

Douglas died unexpectedly in May 2001 of a sudden heart attack. He was 49. He had been living in Santa Barbara, California with his wife and daughter, and at the time of his death he was working on the screenplay for a feature film version of Hitchhiker.

A seminal, influential and unique creative genius, Douglas effortlessly blended the ridiculous with the infinitely impossible and topped it off with a side-dish of wry commentary and brilliant insight. He was an inspiration to generations of readers, comedians and authors and on this, the 42nd Swancon, we believe that it’s important that we honour his contributions to our consciousness.

Published: 16:11 on Mar 24, 2016
Last Updated: 16:12 on Mar 26, 2016